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Monitoring data usage

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Monitoring data usage

Postby RogerS » 21 Jun 2018, 10:29

Probably a question for Mark but throwing it open to the wider audience.

I want to monitor what devices in the house are gobbling up our bandwidth. The obvious point is the router and so anyone know of any routers that will collate how much data is used by each connected device ?

Or port mirroring perhaps..only can't find any software on a Mac that will log the stats.
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby Robert » 21 Jun 2018, 10:57

My Asus RT-AC87U has a traffic analyser section in its web interface. It is turned off by default. I've just turned it on.
Supposed to give hour by hour usage reports with who and when. Guess it will take a few hours before it has any data to report. I'll let you know how it works out.

https://www.asus.com/ASUSWRT/
scroll down a bit. Doesn't tell you much detail but shows what it is supposed to do.

edit. just checked it after posting this. Seems to do all you asked for. Clients all listed and what amount of data they are moving on which protocol
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby TrimTheKing » 21 Jun 2018, 11:42

Yep as Robert says, most devices will do some or all of this, it's just not always obvious. I punt out the syslogs from my Sky router to my syslog server on my NAS and that has all the necessary tools to give you the usage breakdown and also any alerts on attacks etc.
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby RogerS » 21 Jun 2018, 13:02

Thanks guys. That router seems like the DB's so I'm going to get one.
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby Robert » 21 Jun 2018, 14:30

I've had the router about 6 months now. It has been a solid performer.

It has had 3 firmware updates in that time. Each time the router was a bit flakey for an hour or so afterwards. Red light for no internet on and off. After the hour and me thinking there is a problem...no more problems.

Think I read somewhere it is at or near its end of model life so you may want to choose a different model.

There is also another firmware available that has a WiFi 'mesh' mode for use with 2nd or 3rd Asus routers. If I see a bargain price offer on a compatible Asus i may give it a go.
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby RogerS » 21 Jun 2018, 15:09

Just got a hardly used model for £110 so very pleased especially compared to new prices of £180 or so.

Must confess to not really understanding what these mesh networks are all about. Or what the benefit is.
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby timothyedoran » 21 Jun 2018, 15:18

Are you trying to work out who is downloading art films and glamour photos

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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby Robert » 21 Jun 2018, 15:29

Without checking with google to see if I'm talking nonsense...

Mesh wifi lets you have continuous wifi anywhere in range of your wifi router and access points. I have the router upstairs and it is wired to an access point downstairs. Both have the same SSID and password. If I take my phone downstairs where the router signal is weak at some point it will switch to the access point but may not decide to do so until the signal from the router is really bad. that means for a while the connection is poor.

With mesh you get signal from both constantly adding together rather than a handover.

At least I think that is what it does. Not had the kit to try it yet. Much prefer the idea of using proper routers rather than the linksys/netgear/google/etc expensive 'pods'.

Oh and back to the original topic... the phone app for Asus routers it quite good too. I could see what was connected to my network with it from anywhere - even when on holiday.
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby TrimTheKing » 21 Jun 2018, 15:43

That's just how 'normal' WiFi works Robert, with multiple AP's.

Mesh's are either dual or tri-band, with one 2.4GHz and one (or two in the case of tri-band) 5GHz networks. They still work the same way, with AP's distributing the signal around your home, but the dual band utilises both frequencies to share the load thus making it appear both faster and with better coverage . 2.4GHz is slower but wider frequencies hence better coverage, but less channels, while 5GHz is faster but has a much lower coverage area and many more available channels meaning less interference and the ability to have higher density of AP's before clashes become an issue.

Tri-Band on the other hand uses two 5GHz networks, one of which is hidden and is used to ship the data between AP's and devices thus saving more bandwidth across the channels if some devices are talking to other devices on the same AP.

SkyQ uses a mesh and to be honest it's a bit flakey if you ask me... We have looked at mesh networks for work but even for an enterprise there really isn't the need as normal AP based WiFi with channel tuning is more than capable of doing everything required, and already works.

Strikes me a bit of a solution to a problem that doesn't exist...
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby RogerS » 26 Jun 2018, 06:10

Oh b*****x!

Must do better research. Unless I am misreading the manual, this bloody router needs a separate modem! All my other routers have modems built-in.

Mark ? Help !!!
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby 9fingers » 26 Jun 2018, 08:03

Just stick one of your current modem/ routers in front of the new one
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby TrimTheKing » 26 Jun 2018, 08:30

Might not be as easy as that though Bob.

In theory you would just turn off all unnecessary features on your existing router, plug an Ethernet cable from one of the internal interfaces into the external Ethernet port in the new router and configure Wi-Fi etc.

In practice your old router will be serving as a internal DHCP server, which will assign a DHCP lease to the new router external interface. The issue here is that by default your new router will probably also be serving as a DHCP server and generally companies use standard private addressing of either 192.168.1.1-254 or 192.168.0.1-254 ranges.

The issue you might have is if they are both set up on the same range then you will start to get duplicate addressing and clashes.

Easy enough to sort out by disabling DHCP server function on the new router.

Whether working in this mode will still give you the bandwidth breakdown though I don’t know. It should but...
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby Robert » 26 Jun 2018, 09:09

Check if the original router has a 'modem mode'.

I have virgins cable router in modem mode which does what it says... all its router functions are disabled leaving my router to do its thing.

edit. if you can return it, Asus do routers with built in modems too...
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby 9fingers » 26 Jun 2018, 09:17

Robert wrote:Check if the original router has a 'modem mode'.

I have virgins cable router in modem mode which does what it says... all its router functions are disabled leaving my router to do its thing.



Agreed, that is how mine is set up too.

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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby Robert » 26 Jun 2018, 11:14

If you do get to a point where the traffic monitor is working i think you will be impressed. I am :)

My daughter dropped by for half an hour yesterday. During that time her phone used more data than both ours together for the whole day. Not that it matters as its only wifi but still interesting. My PC has the biggest section of the pie chart as expected.

Guess it also confirms my network is secure and no one else is using my internet connection.
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby RogerS » 26 Jun 2018, 17:19

I can't return it as I bought it on eBay.

My Draytek router does have 'bridge mode' that lets it act as a modem but I think that it might be a case of 'There Be Dragons'. If I tell it to get into bridge mode then if it all goes belly up, what's its IP address so I can get back in? It's the other side of the ASUS router.

Where is the ISP login happen now? Still in the Draytek or in the ASUS ?
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby RogerS » 26 Jun 2018, 17:30

Cracking tech support from Zen - as per usual.

The Draytek when operating in bridge mode just does the low-level ADSL syncing stuff. The Zen account credentials need to be in the Asus. So that's a job for another day.
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby TrimTheKing » 26 Jun 2018, 19:13

I've had a couple of Draytek Vigor routers over the years. Not a enterprise level but poles apart and miles above most other off the shel brands. Good choice.

I imagine it also has a built in VPN Concentrator so you can set up your own remote access network back to your home network to access your content when away from home.

I used to make great use of that feature.
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby Robert » 26 Jun 2018, 22:41

I'm using my old Asus router as an access point. Having set it to access point mode and rebooted it I realised I'd forgot a setting and didn't know its new IP. I just pressed the reset button and it was back to default router operation and known IP. I'd guess most routers are the same - press and hold the reset button and it reverts to out of the box settings - so nothing to fear if your ISP router has a reset button.
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby TrimTheKing » 26 Jun 2018, 22:44

Wot he said.
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby RogerS » 28 Jun 2018, 17:36

This has now got above my pay grade.

Yes...I can see the Asus router.

Yes...I can plug the computer back into the Vigor and try to set it up in bridge mode. Is this the same as PPPoE pass through ? No idea! I have these options...

vigor 1.png
(112.31 KiB)


and this is the other tab...

Vigor 2.png
(150.98 KiB)


Bridge mode is only available in the second tab. Attempt 1....to Enable the second tab and disable the first (PPPoE one) - nada. Then I noticed that some of the parameters in the second tab were different and so I altered them as best I could...you can see the result in the two images. But I have no idea whether or not I should do this. Nada

So then I see PPPoE passthrough onnthe first tab and a quick Google suggests that this is the same as Bridge Mode ....so if my normal way of connecting is to use that first tab then do I select PPPoE passthrough and ignore the second tab and its bridge mode ?
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby Tusses » 28 Jun 2018, 18:46

RogerS wrote:I can't return it as I bought it on eBay.


I think ebay has the option to return , and choose the reason "changed my mind" ! :o
need to check that though.
it's a real pain for sellers !
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby RogerS » 28 Jun 2018, 19:13

Tusses wrote:
RogerS wrote:I can't return it as I bought it on eBay.


I think ebay has the option to return , and choose the reason "changed my mind" ! :o
need to check that though.
it's a real pain for sellers !



Private sellers don't have to accept returns. Depends what they put in their listing
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby Tusses » 28 Jun 2018, 19:21

RogerS wrote:
Tusses wrote:
RogerS wrote:I can't return it as I bought it on eBay.


I think ebay has the option to return , and choose the reason "changed my mind" ! :o
need to check that though.
it's a real pain for sellers !



Private sellers don't have to accept returns. Depends what they put in their listing


you would think !
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Re: Monitoring data usage

Postby Robert » 28 Jun 2018, 22:56

Just watched a draytek video on changing a vigor 130 (no idea if that is yours but screens look similar) to bridge mode and it just handed the adsl login with user/pass to the new router and the Asus being a cable router will not have that login.

https://www.draytek.com/en/faq/faq-conn ... -vigor130/

There are references to other scenarios further down the page and a link to configurations for a different router model too. Not sure if any of them cover having the modem do the log in and a second router do the routing.

We had ADSL at the factory but that was a long time ago and I've not been near a modem since so not really familiar with terms like pppoe etc.
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